The modern market of floor coverings is constantly updated with new materials, which, in terms of their technical and operational characteristics, exceed the old ones. Among them there are unique coatings that are rapidly gaining popularity. This category includes, for example, an engineering floor board. There are many contradictory rumors about it, so it makes sense to understand this issue in more detail. We will dwell on the pros and cons of the material, and also we will discuss the ways of wood flooring installation.
What is an engineered wooden flooring?
This flooring material is a structure consisting of two layers:
- Lower is the basis. It is made of plywood with a thickness of 15 millimeters, and the raw material for it is usually birch.
- The top layer is the sawn veneer. In this case, any tree species from traditional to exotic can be used.
If we compare the engineering board, for example, with a parquet board or an array in terms of its cost, the difference will be insignificant. But at the same time the first floor material is several times stronger and more reliable. In addition, manufacturers increasingly began to make this coating of valuable wood species with excellent performance characteristics.
After stacking by the form of such a board is no different from the array, but it serves many times longer. Plus, the material can be looped and re-varnished, doing this many times. We add that the engineering board can be laid on the system “heated flooring”, which can not be done with an array of wood.
Production of engineered wooden floors
The production of this flooring uses traditional technology and high-precision equipment. The first stage is the production of sawn veneer or, as experts say, lamellae, which is subsequently glued on plywood with a thickness of 15 or 18 millimeters. For gluing, special compositions based on PVA glue are used.
Then on the panels prepared in this manner, the groove-groove locking joint is cut. Then the chamfer is removed, after which the entire lamella is covered with UV varnish. The varnish is applied in at least 5 layers. By the way, some manufacturers use UV oils instead of varnish, which are in no way inferior in terms of technical parameters.
Locking the panels allows the use of the technology by which the laminate is installed. That is, use a floating method, when glue compounds are not needed. True, a substrate is required, which will hide minor irregularities of the genital base.
Engineering flooring board format
This flooring material is longer and wider than solid wood flooring boards. This is due to the fact that it is not possible to make a wide board out of solid hardwood. After all, finding a wide tree is very difficult. The coefficient of linear expansion of wood also has significance. By the way, this indicator differs in different breeds.
For example, conventional wood for 1% moisture changes its size by 0.25%. This is especially true in the heating season, when the humidity inside the premises drops sharply. And, accordingly, the humidity of wooden floors falls. Between the floorboards, gaps begin to form. It is easy to calculate that with a board width of 150-200 millimeters, with a decrease in humidity, gaps up to 3 millimeters can be formed.
This will not happen with the engineering floor board, because this layered material, which is based on plywood, is also a multi-layered texture. And as you know, puff products are not affected by humidity and do not change their size.
And now about the format. This floor covering is not limited in size. For example, the width of up to 500 millimeters – today is not a problem. And the wider the product, the easier it is to lay it on the floor.
Methods for wooden floor installation
Now about the ways of flooring installation. There are two of them – floating and glutinous. Let’s start with the first one. Its advantages are:
- Low cost of installation works.
- Do not use additional leveling and fastening materials. For example, plywood and glue solutions. And this is a significant decrease in value.
- High speed and easy installation.
- With the help of such a floor, the loads for the whole area are evenly distributed.
- Comfortable walking on such a surface.
- You can make repairs, simply dismantle the cover, using it elsewhere.
One way of laying engineered wooden floors
The second method is much more complicated, but it should be used if the engineering floor board covers a large area. To do this, it is necessary to use adhesive compositions with a high elasticity coefficient. In addition, experts argue that such a floor covering can be laid on solid bases, finished with other materials. For example, on ceramic tiles or parquet.
Installing engineered wooden flooring on plywood
Many specialists use this method, considering it better. To begin with, the ground base must be leveled and hardened. After that, plywood with a minimum thickness of 12 millimeters is laid on it. By the way, if the plywood is located on a concrete base, then laying in one layer is used. If the floors have a lag base, the plywood is laid in two layers. In addition, it must be moisture resistant.
Joining two boards
To cover the substrate, sheets of 50 × 50 or 75 × 75 centimeters are used. To lay them it is necessary align on half of sheet on type of a bricklaying. It is necessary to leave technological gaps between the flooring panels in the case of temperature expansion. Mount the plywood to the base with parquet glue and dowels with screws. In this condition, the plywood floor should lie for 5 days. After that the material is necessarily ground. This is necessary in order to remove mud deposits and to get rid of small differences in the plane.
Now, along the entire perimeter of the room at the level of the installation of the floor covering, special wedges are installed and fixed, which determine the technological gap between the wall and the floor material. It is clear that this will compensate for the expansion of the material, arising from changes in humidity and temperature.
It is recommended for fixing to use polyurethane adhesive composition as the most reliable and durable. The glue is applied by means of a notched trowel on the back of the engineering floor board or on a plywood base. By the way, the glue on the front side must be removed immediately with a solvent. For additional fastening, experts recommend using special screws of the brand Dribo or Spax, or you can apply parquet nails. When the process is completed, you need to close the room and do not enter it for 3-4 days.
Conclusion on the topic
Engineering wooden boards have a large number of advantages. This, of course, is a material with high quality characteristics. But it is necessary to note its design advantages. On the market, you can pick up this material in such a way that it is exactly suitable for any interior. This simplifies the work of the designer and at the same time enhances the possibilities of correct selection.
For all qualities and properties this engineered floor covering exceeds the array, but at the same time it is cheaper. And what more do you need to get a beautiful and durable floor, saving you money!